Transportation Infrastructure:

Central Artery/Tunnel Project Faces Financial Uncertainties

RCED-96-131: Published: May 10, 1996. Publicly Released: Jun 7, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Central Artery/Tunnel Project in Boston, Massachusetts, focusing on: (1) the project's estimated total costs; and (2) Massachusetts' plans for financing the project.

GAO found that: (1) in January 1996, Massachusetts estimated that the project's total cost was $7.8 billion, but that estimate did not include $1 billion in previously identified costs or account for the effects of inflation; (2) project costs could total more than $10.4 billion if Massachusetts does not successfully contain construction costs well below historic levels; (3) Massachusetts has directed two state agencies to contribute $200 million toward project costs, but federal and state funding may not be sufficient to complete the project by 2004; (4) federal funding may be limited by the lack of provisions giving the state access to unobligated balances from previous years; and (5) Massachusetts has identified several funding options, but shortfalls exist under all of the options because of its plans to accelerate construction and begin numerous projects within a short period of time.

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